Saturday, August 31, 2013

Amy Carmichael-Selfless Servant of India

This biography in novel form portrays the life of Amy Carmichael a young woman who went to India as a missionary. After saving one little girl from temple prostitution, Amy and her colleagues started orphanages to house these children. An invalid the latter part of her life, Amy continued to encourage her "kids" and colleagues and many others through her books.  Amy Carmichael served for 56 years in India without a furlough, taking the love of Christ to many the world considered unlovely.

This was  an inspiring look at the dedication and love for others that this amazing women displayed when she was but a child and continued until her death at age 83.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Friday's Highlights

Highlights of my Week
Here are some of beauties of nature that inspired me this week:
Moon in the morning

Sunrise that same morning--Oh what a beautiful morning

Storm clouds gathered

Angel wings

Breakfast rush--The bees at rush hour


Each week, Hilary listi four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!
This week’s statements:
1) I love to _walk in the rain___
2) When I _get up in the mornings___ I am _excited to see what the day holds____
3) I love to listen to __jazz when it rains____ because it makes me feel _special____

4) I never thought I would __recover__ after _my divorce, but now I am better than ever.___

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oliver Wendell Holmes, SR

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr daguerreotype.jpeg
Holmes in about 1853
BornOliver Wendell Holmes
August 29, 1809
Cambridge, Massachusetts
DiedOctober 7, 1894 (aged 85)
Boston, Massachusetts
Today is the birthday of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.  one of my heroes. He was an author, poet and medical reformer. In 1846, Holmes coined the word "anesthesia",the first practitioner to publicly demonstrate the use of ether during surgery. He introduced the practice of prophylaxis (hand washing in chlorine solution before assisting at delivery) to considerably lower the puerperal (occurring during childbirth or the period immediately following) mortality rate.  Having worked in OB/GYN for many years, I know the importance of sanitary conditions.  He was a forward thinking man, true to his ideals.

He was many faceted man.  Beside his medical career he was an author and poet--a man who experienced life.  This poem of his always makes me smile:

The Height of the Ridiculous

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

I WROTE some lines once on a time 
In wondrous merry mood, 
And thought, as usual, men would say 
They were exceeding good. 

They were so queer, so very queer, 
I laughed as I would die; 
Albeit, in the general way, 
A sober man am I. 

I called my servant, and he came; 
How kind it was of him 
To mind a slender man like me, 
He of the mighty limb. 

“These to the printer,” I exclaimed, 
And, in my humorous way, 
I added (as a trifling jest,) 
“There ’ll be the devil to pay.” 

He took the paper, and I watched, 
And saw him peep within; 
At the first line he read, his face 
Was all upon the grin. 

He read the next; the grin grew broad, 
And shot from ear to ear; 
He read the third; a chuckling noise 
I now began to hear. 

The fourth; he broke into a roar; 
The fifth; his waistband split; 
The sixth; he burst five buttons off, 
And tumbled in a fit. 

Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye, 
I watched that wretched man, 
And since, I never dare to write 
As funny as I can.

We can all learn a lesson by following his example of a person who is not held back by what is considered normal or "the way it's always done".  We each can expand our horizons and improve our world.  We must not forget to include humor in our daily life.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Labor Day weekend (in the US of A) is approaching...what's something you've labored over this year? 
I have labored over improving relationships.  I have has some success and some failure.  But I know that I am only accountable for my effort and not the result.

2. What is one word to describe your 'job' or career?
I have had a lot of jobs, a lot of variety, but what I consider as my career--a medical practice manager--I would describe as fulfilling. 

3. What was your worst or least favorite job ever? Why?
When I was thirteen, I was a nanny to a family who also thought that the job description included laundry and ironing white shirts for the grown son who had his own family and lived miles away.  The pay $2 a week for all the work.

4. How do you measure contentment?
Being able to go to bed at night with a light heart and a smile and falling asleep in minutes.

5. Pickles-like or dislike? What is something you eat that requires a pickle? Dill, bread and butter, sweet gherkins...what's your favorite kind of pickle?
I like pickles. especially on a hamburgers.  Bread and butter are my favorite.

6. In your current house-town-state, what is it you like living close to?
The concert halls and sports arenas

7. What is one thing on your 'want-to-do' list before summer draws to an official close?
Finish rearranging my studio

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I was in a mud storm last night.  I had to drive my grandson to a friends house.  We had a bad dust storm and then it morphed into a severe rain storm, which meant it rained mud.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cool Homes!

It has been so hot in Phoenix this summer that I needed some cool inspiration.  I found some pictures that helped me forget the heat.

 This is the ranch house where I grew up.  Winters were snowy, cold but beautiful
This is our ranch in summer.  Still a very cool place to live!

When I was in France this is the apartment where I lived.  Notice the stove pipe, pretty cool, huh?

And this is where I live now.  It is a great home and if you look close you will see some of those western touches, but no stovepipe out the windows.  Every home that I have lived in has special memories attached.  It is always refreshing to revisit these places.

Sure bad stuff happened, but I choose to reflect on the good.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

           Acting Balanced

1. Yesterday (August 25th) was Kiss and Make Up Day... when was the last time you had to kiss and make up?
I had to apologize to my youngest daughter for trying her patience with my grandson just today.

2. Are you doing anything special for Labour Day weekend?
I don't have any plans yet, but that may change as I am a last minute sort of person lately.

3. If you could go back to school, what would you major in?
Travelology.  Then I could fly around the world and see all kinds of wonderful sights.

4. How much rain did you have this summer?
We are still in monsoon season, so far this year have had 4.39 inches which is slightly below normal.

And now a question for you
5.  What is your favorite picnic food?
My answer--Fried chicken and potato salad with watermelon for dessert.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Night Song

He gives songs in the night; when our condition is dark and melancholy, there is that in God's providence and promise, which is sufficient to support us, and to enable us even to rejoice in tribulation. 

PSALM 42:8
8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me--a prayer to the God of my life.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another Forgotten Child

I read this haunting memoir from Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author Cathy Glass, a foster mother living in England.

Eight-year-old Aimee was on the child protection register at birth. The social services are looking for a very experienced foster carer to look after Aimee and, when she reads the referral, Cathy understands why. Despite her reservations, Cathy agrees to Aimee on – and reading the report instantly tugs at her heart strings.

When she arrives, Aimee is angry. And she has every right to be. She has spent the first eight years of her life living with her drug-dependent mother in a flat that the social worker described as ‘not fit for human habitation’.

Aimee’s aggressive mother is constantly causing trouble at contact, and makes sweeping allegations against Cathy and her family in front of her daughter as well.  As Aimee begins to trust Cathy, she starts to open up. And the more Cathy learns about Aimee’s life before she came into care, the more horrified she becomes.

It’s clear that Aimee should have been rescued much sooner and as her journey seems to be coming to a happy end, Cathy can’t help but reflect on all the other ‘forgotten children’ that are still suffering…

This story is hard to read as it exposes the trauma that many innocent children suffer, but it also is uplifting to know that there are people who are willing to work with these wounded children.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Highlights on Friday

Highlights of my Week

Sometimes I just have to treat myself--dinner at Golden Corral was great

The house behind mine burned.  The homeowner ran back into the inferno to save his two cats.  Luckily they all survived.

Golden sky this morning was a good start to the day


Each week, Hilary lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!

This week’s statements:
1) Sometimes I feel like there is so __much dust in my house___ and that I will never _have clean surfaces  (Thanks dust storms!)____.
2) I never tire of __reading___
3) I love the charity _Samaritan's Purse__ because it strives to __bring happiness to the underprivileged__
4) My dream job would be _a cruise director___ because I’d get to __travel all over the world___

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Be an Angel

According to the Holiday Almanac today is Be an Angel Day. Be an Angel Day encourages us to do acts of kindness, and to help others.
The objective of this day is to be like an angel, and do something good or kind for someone. It encourages us to be God's servant in doing good things for others. It is intended to do something nice or kind for someone who is in need of help. The type of angelic help you can offer is not defined or limited. It can be physical, emotional, or spiritual.

Be an Angel Day is for both the giver and the receiver. If you are the receiver, make certain to express openly your appreciation. And, recognize the angel in your life as being sent from God.

This special day has strong religious roots. Jayne Howard Feldman, the creator of this day, says she was inspired by angels to create this day on August 22, 1993.

I have seen miraculous things happen.  I have seen people used of God, and perhaps they were angels.  I wrote of one amazing incident-- Christmas Miracles but there are many more.

Look around you today and see who you might bless and perhaps be an angel.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What's your worst food memory? How about one of your best?
I had a peanut butter sandwich that made me violently ill--food poisoning.  I wasn't able to eat peanut butter for years.  The best--I remember a seafood dinner with my Mom at a restaurant along the Oregon coast.  The scallops were huge and tender, the scenery amazing--one of the last meals I had out with my mom.

2. Do you appreciate people telling it like it is, or would you rather a speaker temper his/her words and maybe beat around the bush a little? How about when you're the one communicating...which type are you?
I would rather hear it like it is but in a respectful way.  I try to do the same when I have a hard message to deliver.

3. What's your favorite place to hang out?
I love hanging out in my art studio.  Even if I don't work, I can think and dream there.

4. When do you most feel like you're a slave to time?
Since I hate to be late, when I have several appointments in a day and no time to stop if I see something truly amazing.

5. What was the last concert you attended? Who'd you go with? Was it any good?
I went to a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert with my sister and her husband.  It was exceptional.

6. Reality TV...harmful or harmless? What's your guilty pleasure when it comes to reality TV?
I hate reality TV--I see nothing real about it.  Most of them glorify bad behavior.  I don't watch them.

7. What's something you think is overrated?
Politics.  I am becoming so cynical that I tend to believe everything I hear is self serving.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Another week of 110 degree temperatures and I am feeling captive in my house.  I want so bad to get out and take a walk or drive through some of the desert beauty, but I have to be wise and be content with reading.  I did make Peanut Butter Brownies early one morning that were yummy but it took the kitchen all day to cool off.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

A little while back I posted the recipe for Oreo Brownies.  In this variation I combined two of my most favorite flavors--Chocolate and Peanut Butter. But again it is super simple.
You will need a package of Peanut Butter Oreos, A Peanut Butter Brownie mix and ingredients to make it, and a package of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie dough.  I used a 9x11 pan but a smaller size would make thicker brownies.  For glass pans preheat oven to 325. (Metal pans-350 degrees)
Press cookie dough in greased pan, add layer of Oreo cookies
Top with prepared brownie mix, bake for approximately 35 minutes or until brownies are done.
Let cool slightly, cut into squares between cookies.  Good warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

           Acting Balanced

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Acting Balanced.  We are continuing to answer questions together.  

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! 

1. Apparently today is International Homeless Animal Day.  Have you ever adopted an animal friend for your household?
We have three dogs.  My dog--Betsy--I got as a puppy from a breeder, my grandson got his yellow lab from a friend who was moving, and our Pit Bull Terrier we rescued from a dumpster.  The owners were breeders and she wasn't adopted by six weeks.  She is gentle and has a sweet disposition

2. How do you adjust to changes in your daily routine?  
I pretty well roll with the punches, no chore is so important that it can't wait/

3. Which social media platform do you like best?  Which one do you like least?
I post on Facebook and like it to follow all the activities of my friends and family.  I use Pinterest.  I don't use the others.

4. How do you decide, 'what's for dinner?'
Since I only have to cook for me, it is usually whatever is at the front of the freezer.

And now a question for you--
5.  Are you a social person?
Me--I enjoy and am comfortable with solitude, but I do sometimes like time with friends.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Are you a Slave

Jesus Paid the Price You Couldn’t Pay
Rick Warren
“He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone.” (1 Timothy 2:6a NLT)

All of us are slaves of something. Maybe it’s our peers. Maybe it’s our lusts. Maybe it’s money. The Bible says in 2 Peter 2:19, “You are a slave to whatever controls you” (NLT). Based on this definition alone, all of us are slaves to something.

We don’t have to let anything enslave us, though. The Bible says Jesus bought our freedom: “He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone” (1 Timothy 2:6a NLT). The Greek word for redemption actually refers to slaves who were purchased in a marketplace. In a spiritual sense, all of us were slaves to sin until Jesus purchased us out of the slave market and set us free from sin’s bondage.

Let me give you a picture of what Jesus’ death on the cross did to purchase our freedom. Imagine you’re in a busy marketplace with a lot of commerce going on. In the center of the marketplace, you’re in the middle of an auction, where you are being bid on. As each successive bid is shouted out, you look in the eyes of those who are bidding on you and try to size them up. Are they kind or cruel? Just as the auction is winding down, a stranger from the crowd stands up and offers a bid a thousand times higher than anyone else’s bid. There is no way anyone could ever match or beat that bid. As the auctioneer hastily accepts it, you look into that stranger’s eyes and realize he isn’t bidding on you to use you, like a slave. He’s buying you in order to set you free.

That’s just what Jesus did for you. He paid the price to set you free. The price for
your freedom was so high you could never pay it. But he paid it for you.

Galatians 5:1 says, “Freedom is what we have — Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again” (GNT).

So many people spend their lives seeking significance and freedom on manmade dead-end passes. Yet, here’s the amazing truth: “We can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, because the payment for a human life is too great” (Psalm 49:7-8a).

The price for your freedom has already been paid. You’ve been bought. Are you living in that freedom?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Romanov Conspiracy

"Glenn Meade’s electrifying novel combines the epic sweep and drama of a heroic quest, the passion and tragedy of Doctor Zhivago, and a majestic cast of characters that will stay with you long after the final pages have been turned. . . . 


Dr. Laura Pavlov, an American forensic archaeologist, is about to unravel a mystery that promises to shed light on one of the 20th century’s greatest enigmas. 

A member of an international team digging on the outskirts of the present-day Russian city of Ekaterinburg, where the Romanov royal family was executed in July 1918, Pavlov discovers a body perfectly preserved in the permafrost of a disused mine shaft. 

The remains offer dramatic new clues to the disappearance of the Romanovs, and in particular their famous daughter, Princess Anastasia, whose murder has always been in question. Pavlov’s discovery sets her on an unlikely journey to Ireland, where a carefully hidden account of a years-old covert mission is about to change the accepted course of world history and hurl her back into the past—into a maelstrom of deceit, secrets, and lies. 

Drawn from historical fact, The Romanov Conspiracy is a high-tension story of love and friendship tested by war, and a desperate battle between revenge and redemption, set against one of the most bloody and brutal revolutions in world history."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Highlights on Friday

Highlights of my Week

This week nature made a spectacular show
Welcome to another day

Monsoon Morning

Texas Yellow Bells in my front yard


Each week, Hilary listi four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!

1) I hate when I _have to go out and there is only one more chapter to a good book____

2) I sometimes long for _the mountains where I grew up____

3) Thinking about _my childhood__ always makes me __happy__

4) My favorite day of this week so far was _Thursday__ because_we had rain___

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Old is Good

On Tuesday I wrote about sewing machines, of which I have several.  To earn extra money, I often will do dressmaking. Several years ago I had an order for a dress for my Avon Lady, and she had waited until the last minute to get the fabric to me.  I quickly cut the dress out and had started to assemble it.  With just a couple of hours before the finish deadline, wouldn't you know it the power went off.  I was on the edge of panic when I remembered my bedroom night stand--a Singer treadle sewing machine that I had received as a gift from my ex's grandmother.  So I took off the pictures and lamp, opened it up, threaded it and treadled away, finishing the project with time to spare.

Now all the fancy computer machines are great, but there is nothing more dependable than an old fashioned muscle powered machine.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. My daughter earned her Master's Degree this past weekend...what's something you've 'mastered' in recent weeks or months?
Congrats to your daughter.  I recently took a summer class and mastered several new inking techniques that I can use for my art projects.

2. What song most reminds you of your childhood?
Its got to be Ring a Round the Rosies.  Not only would be play it at school, but because of all my siblings we were able to play it at home.

3. What do you think about single gender groups and/or events? Should every group/event be open to both genders?  If not, what sort of exceptions do you think are appropriate? 
Sometimes it's nice to have girl time.  A lot of mixed single events that I have attended were basically a meat market.  But a few were fine/

4. What's your favorite spice? Your favorite dish containing your favorite spice?
I love pepper on most anything, even cantaloupe (it enhances the flavor)  How about Pfeffernüsse cookies!

5.  I saw this question on Marla's facebook page and asked if I could steal borrow it for the Hodgepodge...thanks Marla!  

Chevron patterns are everywhere!  Do you like it or think its just a little too much? Do you own anything 'chevron'? 
I'm not much into geometric patterns, instead I prefer florals or abstract patterns.

6.  What's something you disliked as a child, but can fully appreciate now?
Swimming.  I was scared of the water, now although I am not a good swimmer, I really do like to be in the water, and sitting on a beach is wonderful.
7. What can irritate you very quickly?
People talking harshly to children really upsets me.  I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying something I will regret later.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
My daughter got a call from the principal regarding her 9 year old son.  The problem--he wore shorts to school with outside pockets.  I guess that is a big no-no.  She told the principal that she thought they should concentrate on the bullying behavior of some of the students rather than if the kids pants had outside pockets.  (These were purchased at the school uniform section of a major department store recommended by the school)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sew I Do!

My Treadle Singer
Today is Sewing Machine Day.

Sewing Machine Day celebrates a very important invention ----- the sewing machine. The first sewing machines were made in France in the 1830s. It wasn't until 1846, that they were patented in the U.S. What a great invention. Prior to it's creation, clothes items were sewn together by hand...stitch by stitch.

People who know how to use a sewing machine are dwindling in number. Our mothers and grandmothers had a sewing machine in the house. They used it, too. But, look around your house. Do you have a sewing machine? Chance are, the answers is no.

But that wouldn't include me.  I have an old treadle Singer that I use as a nightstand in my bedroom, but it is still very usable.  Then I have a Janome computer machine, a Baby Lock serger, a White travel machine that I take to sewing classes, a small portable Singer that I use for crafts, and finally a Viking that I keep at my daughter's home in Prescott.

As you might guess, I love to sew--everything from wedding ensembles to quilted potholders.  I first started sewing when I was just a kid, making clothes for my dolls.  My mother was very patient teaching me the finer points of sewing, such as sewing a straight seam and how to set in a sleeve.

But wouldn't you know it, none of my kids know how to sew, I guess it is just easier for Mom to do it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Quiz About Me

           Acting Balanced

Welcome to Monday Quiz About Me - hosted by Acting Balanced.  We are trying something different this week where Wayne and I are answering the questions together.

Here are FOUR QUESTIONS that everyone can answer and then you have the option to add a fifth question of your own for those who are visiting your blog to answer in the comment section, along with commenting on the four standard questions you answered! Grab the badge for your post if you like: 

1. What is your favorite 'G Rated' activity that you like to share with your SO or BFF?
With my BFF I like to travel, whether it is just day road trips around the valley, or on a vacation.  When I had a SO we enjoyed hiking and horseback riding.

2. Do you buy summer clothes at the end of season clearance sales?
Yes, and since I can wear summer clothes just about year round here in Phoenix, I don't have to wait till the next summer.

3. August 13th is national left-handers day.  How many left handed people do you know?
My youngest daughter's two children are both left handed.  They are about the only ones that I know.

4. When you go swimming do you: a) jump into the pool; b) gently move into the pool; or c) dive in?
I gently move into the water, I am to big of a chicken to take the plunge all at once.

And here is a question for you--
5.  How often do you shop on the Internet?
Me--probably two or three times a month.  I have never had a problem, and the one item I had to return was done with ease.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sunday Meditation--Generosity

I came across these two stories that showed generosity in action

Today, I ran into the same homeless man twice. The first time was when he asked me for some spare change and I handed him a five dollar bill. The second time was in the grocery store line 30 minutes later when I realized he was at the register two people in front of me buying milk and bread totaling $4.97.

Today, in my check-out line at the grocery store where I work, a flustered elderly woman realized she was six dollars short on cash for her groceries, and didn’t have a credit card on her. The three people in line immediately behind her each chipped in two dollars so she didn’t have to put anything back. Their spontaneous generosity made me think.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.